FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Tyler Hadley was an immature youth who was severely depressed, didn't fit in, and had very low self-esteem.
Those were just a few of the reasons given by Dr. Kathleen Heide, an expert witness for the defense as to why he killed his parents more than two years ago, then threw a party with their bodies still inside.
Dr. Heide is a criminology professor who specializes in parricide which is the killing of a mother, father or close relative.
Dr. Heide, who works at the University of South Florida, said Tyler Hadley was not abused or neglected in any way, but at the time of the killing was clearly severely depressed and was drinking and doing drugs daily.
"He described his mom as 'motherly and loving' and his dad as a 'big teddy bear'," said Dr. Heide.
Heide saw Tyler Hadley six times over the past two years. She said Hadley had the personality development of, at most, a 12-year-old.
"He's taking away the two people who loved him most. He had no emotional appreciation for that. In addition, he didn't have any emotional appreciation for what this would do to his brother and his family," added Dr. Heide.
Still, Dr. Heide said Tyler shows remorse today not just for the killings, but for other things he had done to his parents like stealing and lying to them.
She says he has taken ownership of what happened.
Dr. Heide said Tyler told her he wanted to plead guilty to two counts of first degree murder because "that's what he did" but he first pleaded no contest on the advice of counsel.
Dr. Heide said there is hope for Tyler If he's treated, if the family stays in touch, and if risk assessments are done.
Under cross examination, Dr. Heide admitted though that if he gets out, Tyler Hadley could kill again and that he wasn't being 100% honest with her.
She said during one of her first interactions with Tyler, he had three wishes: to get out of jail, to get his parents back, and to have lots of money.